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Al Ahly run riot over Esperance in CAF Champions League

Al Ahly players join Percy Tau in celebrating his brace. PHOTO/Al Ahly
  • Al Ahly won the game 3-0 in Rades
  • South African Percy Tau scored a brace
  • The return leg will be played in Cairo next weekend

Al Ahly have moved closer to a record extending 11th African crown after edging out Tunisia’s Esperance 3-0 in the first leg of their CAF Champions League semi-final clash in Rades.

The massive victory away from home now means that Ahly have one foot in the final and only need to avoid defeat at home to make it to the final.

South African Percy Tau starred for the Red Devils, scoring a brace in the massive victory while Mahmoud Kahraba added a third for the Egyptians.

However, despite the win, Ahly’s Swiss coach Marcel Koller has warned his players that the tie is only half done.

“It was a good victory for us away from home, but this game is not yet over. This is the Champions League and you are never sure until the final whistle. We still have a tough game to play in Cairo,” Koller said.

He added; “I know they will come tough on us in Cairo and we must be ready for a difficult duel. We need to maintain our concentration and discipline to ensure we get through. Nothing is done yet.”
Ahly who scraped through the group stages by the skin of their teeth have been a completely different animal in the knockout phases, and they once again showed their might with a brilliant performance in the North African derby.

Ahly ahead after just eight minutes 

Al Ahly celebrate the big win. PHOTO/Al Ahly

They got ahead after just eight minutes to settle their nerves with an early goal, Tau scoring the first of his two with a low drive after he was left unmarked on the right, receiving a pass from Kahraba.

Esperance had a chance to claw back level in the 13th minute but Moataz Zaddem saw his header from close range pushed to the bar by Mohamed Elshenawy.

Ahly should have made it 2-0 in the 26th minute when Kahraba was sent through on goal brilliantly by Tau, but he placed his effort wide with only the keeper to beat.

In the second half, Esperance were off faster off the blocks, but were stunned just 10 minutes after the restart when Tau scored a brilliant curled effort from the edge of the box, after feinting his shots severally to find space.

Esperance had chances, Mohamed Ben Hamouda seeing a header fly inches wide while Mohamed Ben Romdhane had an overhead kick off a corner well saved by Elshenawy.

Esperance pile pressure for goals 

Action between Al Ahly and Esperance. PHOTO/Al Ahly

The hosts piled pressure on Ahly as they sought to get back into the game but while they pushed bodies forward to get an equalizer, they left spaces behind and were punished with Ahly scoring the third 15 minutes to time.

Off a brilliant counter attack, Aliou Dieng sent Hussein Elshahat through on the left, the latter drilling a low cross into the box with Kahraba tapping it home at the backpost.

With a three-goal advantage away from home, Ahly had the job done and the hosts couldn’t get a way back.

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